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Health Buzz: Is your supplement routine ready for winter?

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PHOTO BY MIKA BAUMEISTER
Dr. Kaley Burns

By Dr. Kaley Burns EBS Health Columnist

It’s that time of year—the holidays—when the healthy routines that we have been refining all year long are put to the test. One of the most efficient ways to boost winter vitality and fill nutritional gaps is through high-quality nutritional supplements. 

Winter can be a demanding time for your body. Your health is unique, but the correct nutritional supplements can optimize your health and help you make the most of the season. 

Isn’t just a multivitamin adequate? 

It is generally more effective to get specific when it comes to individual needs. Many generic multivitamins contain inactive ingredients such as fillers and additives that make it difficult for your body to absorb the nutrients. For this reason it is important to work with a healthcare provider to ensure you are utilizing quality supplements.

Taking supplements doesn’t necessarily translate to better health.

My main goal when working with patients is for them to get the majority of their nutrients from their food intake. No matter how many supplements are consumed, you cannot compensate for a poor diet. Optimal nutrition is the foundation of your health and supplements are best used only as a tool to boost your wellness.

Dr. B’s Top 5 Recommended Nutritional Supplements

Vitamin D

Every cell in your body needs vitamin D to function properly. Vitamin D moderates immune function, assists in bone formation, supports mood regulation and enables a healthy inflammation response. It is commonly recommended to take between 2,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D per day. I advise testing vitamin D levels as part of a baseline lab assessment. 

Magnesium

Chronically low magnesium can increase your overall risk of illness. Magnesium is involved in over 300 processes in the body. Due to soil depletion, the vast majority of us are not getting enough magnesium through our diet alone. I recommend taking magnesium before bed, as it promotes better sleep by relaxing muscles and boosting levels of calming neurotransmitters.

Probiotics

There are 10 times more bacteria in our GI system than cells in our body. The gut is the foundation for many aspects of your health, regardless of whether you are having digestive symptoms or not. While it is important to include probiotic-rich foods in your regimen, many of us benefit from an additional boost. Typically an intake of around 10-25 billion CFU per day is sufficient.

Methylated B-Complex

Methylation is a process that helps keep you healthy by assisting your body’s ability to properly detoxify and is essential to hormone balance. B vitamins are the key to keeping this process running smoothly. Chemical, physical and emotional stresses can increase the body’s requirements for B vitamins. Look for a B complex containing methylated B-12 and folate. 

Collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and helps form our connective tissues. Levels begin to decrease annually, starting in our 20s. Powdered collagen peptides are easy to add to smoothies and are more readily absorbed than capsules or gummies. Ideally you want to find a grass-fed, organic source or a marine collagen powder.

Dr. Kaley Burns is the founder, owner and Naturopathic Doctor at Big Sky Natural Health. She embraces a natural approach to health and aims to similarly inspire and guide others on their health journey. Dr. Burns has advanced training application of regenerative and intravenous injection therapy. She also serves as the Vice President and CE Liaison of the Montana Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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